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EXPLORE – Innovative and successful outdoor training models for disadvantaged young learners to improve their basic skills, self-awareness and social interaction
Start date: Sep 1, 2014, End date: Aug 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

All over Europe, unemployment figures for young adults (16-25) have become alarmingly high, with recent forecasts not being positive for this group of population in particular. Albeit to different extents, this is also the case for the countries involved in the EXPLORE partnership: NO, AT, DK, IT (EUROSTAT, January 2014). In Italy, to take the most dramatic example, 42% of 16-25 year old people are out of job. Even in Norway, Denmark and Austria, the percentage of young unemployed is considerably higher than the overall unemployment (e.g. almost 10% for young, compared with an overall 4,2% in Austria). Obviously, among these young unemployed, the group of those showing low qualification levels is overrepresented. Accordingly, the Annual Growth Survey of the European Commission (AGS, EC, 2013) clearly states that it is low-skilled young early school leavers who will still face highest risk of unemployment in the future in Europe. In this overall connection, European experts keep emphasizing that the obvious lack of basic skills, social skills and key personal competences necessary to increase steady employability chances for young disadvantaged adults needs to be addressed in joint effort of policy makers, employers' organisations and educational providers. Most importantly, these educational providers still need to apply pedagogical approaches and methodologies that do actually attract young learners having made negative experience with conventional school education and, consequently, often show a striking lack of motivation to attend further courses or training programmes. Correspondingly, the project EXPLORE aims at answering current needs by offering new learning and counselling environments within outdoor training models to otherwise excluded groups and to provide for a didactic concept and toolkit focusing on motivating, joyful, holistic and efficient basic skills and employability skills delivery to prepare disadvantaged young learners for future workplaces and/or further educational pathways. - Respective skills shall include reading, writing, numeracy, foreign language skills, ICT, social and communicative competences delivered via this environment, as well as competences of (self-) organisation, self-awareness and personal skills to increase one's employability. As its main outputs, the EXPLORE project will provide: - a didactic HANDBOOK enabling pedagogic staff to apply successful models of outdoor basic skills delivery in order to empower young disadvantaged learners - learning and teaching Materials for concrete, practical and joyful use in different learning settings - a multilingual internet Platform (OER) for learners and educators EXPLORE shall have an impact on the training and counselling practices of educational providers (teachers, trainers, guidance counsellors, youth workers etc.) in order to make final users of the produced outputs benefit, i.e. young and young adult disadvantaged learners, NEETs. It shall help improve structures on a regional, national and European level by introducing new learning models into educational systems of the countries involved and beyond. In the course of the funded lifetime of EXPLORE, the partnership aims at actively involving at least 100 professionals working with at our targeted learner groups (100 participants of that gorup will also be involved).

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